Sunday, July 30, 2017

Proper 13 Ordinary 18 A (August 6): More than enough


















Bible Readings: Genesis 32:22-31, Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is my photo - you have permission to use it for worship purposes and related activities.
Upper Right: This is my photo (you have permission to use it for worship purposes and related activities) taken at the back of our place at Mason's Bay, part of the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria (for more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gippsland_Lakes)
Lower Left: This is my image and I think it goes well with Psalm 17:5 - you have permission to use it for worship purposes and related activities. 
Lower Right: This is a free image from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left.  I love this mosaic.  It comes from the floor of the Tabgha Church of the Multiplication on the Sea of Galilee.  You will notice there are only four loaves of bread - that is because the fifth one is assumed to be on the communion table above this mosaic -ready to share!

Listening Song: From a Distance 

by Bette Midler on her album, Some People's Lives (pictured at left). Compare this song's idea of God with the gospel reading's idea of God. They
are very different. 

Listening Song: Wake Up Dead Man
By U2 on their album, Pop (pictured at right). This goes with the Genesis reading.

Listening Song: P
eace on Earth
By U2 on their album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (pictured at left). This also goes w
ell with the Genesis reading.

Listening Song: Psalm 17: Apple of Your Eye 

by Sons of Korah on their album, Resurrection (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Ray
(pictured at left) Show the scene where Ray's Mum lets him struggle to find his way around after he goes blind so that he will be a strong person able to take responsibility for himself. It shows her struggle as well as his. This clip goes very well with the Genesis reading and I found it at Wingclips - see my link column at left.





Discussion: Ray
1. What is happening here?
2. How can our struggles be helpful?
3. When do we struggle with God?

Drama: The Feeding of the Twenty Five
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 74 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Reflective Drama: Night of the Long Struggle
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page12 (pictured at left). This is a great take on the Genesis reading and can be used as is or as the basis for a sermon.

Story: Here, Take What You Need!

Found in Pulpit Resources, August 4th, 2002 by William H. Willimon 

Story: Love and the Cabbie
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 111 (pictured at right). This story fits well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Oversupply

By Bruce Prewer and found at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~nigel/DocA/47SUN18.htm


Prayer: It's Me in That Struggle
By Carter Heyward and found in
Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 253. This goes well with the Genesis reading.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Proper 12 A (July 30): Signs of God




































Bible Readings: Genesis 29:15-28, Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52


About the Images:
Upper Left:
This is a free microsoft clipart image on which I have placed the Biblical text.
Upper Right:
This is a free Cerezo Barredo image - see my link column at left. 
Lower Left and Right: These are free Heartlight images - see my link column at left. 

Listening Song: Father of Lights
By Randy Stonehill on his album, Thirst (pictured at left) or on Nothing But Pop. This makes a great response to the gospel reading.

Object Lesson

Give everyone in the congregation two binder rings (a tad hard to find these days but still available in large stationary shops) locked together and ask people to see if they can pull them apart without undoing them. Unless you have Samson (complete with hair) in your congregation, nobody should be able to do it. Relate this to us and God - God sticks with us.

Kid's Story: The Precious Pearl

By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, found originally as an individual book (pictured at right), Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1986, ISBN 0551012781; and lately in Stories Jesus Told (pictured at right) by the above authors, Candle books, 2005, ISBN 101859855881.

Drama: Mustard Seeds and mountains
Found in Let's Make a Scene by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, page 42 (pictured at left) . This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Story: A Solitary Life
Just google the title and you will come up with hundreds of versions of this story, however a useful and succinct one is found at http://www.allsaintsmtka.org/worship/Sermons/2002/2002-07-28.cfm


Story: The New Narnia
Found in The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, Penguin, 1964, page 154 (pictured at right) or last page of chapter 15 in other editions.

Story: The Art Auction
Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 120 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.


Story: View of the High Country
Found in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1996, ISBN 0849913241, page 191 (pictured at right). Lucado links this story with the Romans reading.

Discussion:
What are the special promises which God makes to us that will get us through tough times?


Response activity:
Give everyone a small card with a mustard seed (or a pearl if you are rich enough ;-)) attached and the relevant verse printed out and ask people to write on the back of the card the characteristic of God's realm that they cannot live without.

Also:

Drama: Nothing Can Separate Us From God's Love
Found in Welcome Mat by Beth Barnett, Scripture Union Victoria, page 176. The book gives no more publishing details that I can share with you.  However it is excellent and packed full of resources for all age worship and can be bought from Scripture Union Victoria. 157 Heidelberg Road, Northcote, Victoria 3070, Australia.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Proper 11 (July 23): God With Us





Bible Readings: Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139: 1-12, 23-24, Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

About the Image:
Upper Left: This image is a free microsoft clipart on to which I put the Biblical text
Upper Right: This is a Heartlight free image - see my links column at left. I think this image is fascinating - I can spend hours looking at it.

Lower Left: This is my image of Ninety Mile Beach in East Gippsland and was one of the images I used with the meditation/prayer below.
Lower Right: A free image from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left.

Listening Song: Live For You
By Rachael Lam
pa on her album of the same name (pictured at left) or on WOW 2001.This goes particularly well as a response to the Old Testament reading.

Listening Song: I've Always Loved You
By Third Day on their album Time (pictured at right). This goes beautifully with the psalm.

Discussion to introduce Genesis reading
Show a group of road signs (go, stop, detour, u turn, danger, caution, rough road ahead etc) and ask people to pick which one best describes their relationship with God at the moment. Reassure them that there are no wrong answers because our relationship with God is also a journey. Jacob could have used every one of the road signs at some time or another of his life. Ask them to share their road sign with a neighbour.


Film Clip: Shrek
Show the clip (below) near the end of the film when Shrek sees the Princess when she is herself. Connect this with the psalm and how God sees us as we really are and loves us.




Drama: A Tare-ible Quarrel
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 48 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion: A Tare-ible Quarrel and the Matthew passage
1.Is there a lesson here for us as a church?

2. Why are we unable to judge who are wheat and who are weeds?
3. What does Matthew reading tell us about church purity?
4. What does Matthew teach us about human accountability?
5. What injustice makes you angry?


Prayer: Midday Prayer
From A New Zealand Prayer Book and found in
Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 245 (pictured at left). This goes well with the gospel.



Meditation: Midday Prayer
Project the above prayer with images and the music, Amerigin's Invocation, from the album Immortal Memory by Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Kennedy (pictured at left).


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Proper 10 A (July 16): Seed stuff



















Bible readings: Genesis 25:19-24, Psalm 119:105-112, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9,18-25

About the Images:
Upper Left: The Sower: painted by Vincent Van Gogh and taken from Wikimedia Commons - a public domain site.
Upper Right: This is a free clip art from the Hermano Leon site - see a link at left in my links column.

Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  See my links column at left.
Lower Right: Sketch of the sower by Van Gogh photographed by me at the amazing Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: Joy in the Journey
By Michael Card on his album, Joy in the Journey (pictured at right). This song fits in well with all the readings but fits particularly well with the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Never Alone
by Barlow
Girl on their album, Barlow Girl (pictured at left) or on the album WOW 2005. This song goes well with all the readings - I put it with the gospel reading.

 Prayer of Confession: Thistles
This is an activity prayer and is found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 12 (pictured at right). It is based on the gospel reading.

Object Lesson: Irish Spring and the Word of God
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 64 (pictured at right) . This is based on the psalm.

 Film Clip: The Neverending Story
 Show the conversation about the story not being safe and link it with Bible is good news but that it is also not safe in the sense that it always presents us with a challenge.




Film Clip: Chicken Run
(pictured at left) Show the scene quite near the beginning where the hens are all planning their escape and becoming demoralised about the whole idea when one of them says "the biggest fences are inside your heads".


Discussion: Chicken Run
1. What things make you feel spiritually uncomfortable?

2. When do we have fences inside our heads when it comes to thinking about God and what God calls us to be or to do?

Film Clip: Pirates 3: At World's End.
Show the clip where Will asks Elizabeth to marry him in the middle of a gigantic sword fight/battle. 



Discussion: Pirates 3: At World's End

1. Why is it a bad time for Will to ask Elizabeth to marry him?
2. What sort of things distract us from following God?


Drama: Seeds Jive

Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 56 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.


Drama: Seeds
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 69. This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Lamps R Us
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 58
(pictured at right). This drama is related to the psalm.

Drama: Psalm 119
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 7.


Drama: Genesis 25:19-34
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 6.

Discussion:
Where do Jacob and Esau fit in the gospel parable: are they seeds on the path, on the thin soil, amongst the thorns or in good soil?
What helps us to have deep roots in good soil?


Story: The Native American and the Cricket
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 123. This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Prayer For Others: Reminders (Version 3: Mixed Nuts)
This is an activity prayer and found in Multi-sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 47. This goes quite well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Living Hearts
Found in
Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 240. This goes well with the gospel. I used images with this poem and the music of Tony O'Conner's track, Memories, from his album, Rainforest Magic.

Meditation: A Sower Went to Sow
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 165This goes quite well with the gospel reading.


Sunday, July 02, 2017

Proper 9 A (July 9): Sharing the Burden













Bible Reading: Genesis 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Psalm 45: 10-17 or Song of Songs 2:8-13, Romans 7;15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.

About the Images:
Upper Left : This is a microsoft free clipart onto which I have put the Biblical text.
Upper Right: This is a free image from Heartlight (you will find a link to Heartlight in my links column at left).
Lower Left: This is a free image from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com. It makes a great background slide for the Romans reading and comes in three languages: english, spanish and portuguese (I think). 
Lower Right: This is my image of an ancient well in Beersheba similar to the type mentioned in the Genesis story.  Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: Much Afraid
By Jars of Clay on their album, Much Afraid (pictured at left). This song fits quite well with the Matthew reading.


Listening Song: A Noble Theme Psalm 45
By Sons of Korah on their album, Hand on the
Plough (pictured at right).

Call to Worship
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4 (pictured at left). This is based on the Gospel reading.

Kids Time: Liturgical stole and Good Intentions
A good explanation about both which links well with both the Matthew and the Romans reading can be found in Forbid Them Not Year A by Carolyn C Brown, Abingdon Press, 1992, ISBN 068713255X, page 129 (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Wall-e
(pictured at left) Show the trailer i
n which you see Wall-e bored and lonely .

Discussion: Wall-e
What two things are making
Wall-e sad?
What do you think would make him happy?


Film Clip: Les Miserables
(pictured at right) Use the clip right near the end when Javert and Valjean have a conversation by the river and Javert lets himself fall into the water. This is a great illustration of the Romans reading when we can paint ourselves into a corner if we do not acknowledge our need for a Saviour. I used a Wingclips film clip for this - you can visit their site via my link column at left.

Discussion on the Matthew reading
In wha
t areas would you like to be more closely yoked with Jesus as a church?

Drama: A Load of Rubbish
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 17(pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion for A Load of Rubbish
What are some of the burdens we carry around with us?


Drama: All Messed Up

Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4 (pictured above). This drama is based on the romans reading and can be adapted for puppets or people.

Story: Too Polite

Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 88(pictured at right).  This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Pulling Together
Index 3894-3899 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This story is also found at http://www.churchchrist.net/Sermons/Ministry.htm and is called Pulling Yoke Together.

Story: The Flying Wallandas
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialities, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 96 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story is about trusting God. This goes with both the gospel reading and the Genesis reading.

Story: The Civil War of the Soul
Found in In the Grip Of Grace by Max Lucado, Word Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0849911435, pages 139ff. Lots of stories and discussion questions (at the back) based on the Romans reading.

Poem/Meditation: Prisoner

Found in The Electric Bible: Poems For Public Worship by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 100. This poem is based on the Romans reading. I put an image up for each stanza and read it out loud with a pause between each verse.

Response Activity:
Give everyone a business card with a picture of two yoked bullocks and the words "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.....For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light - Jesus".
(see image above and feel free to use). Ask people to think about the words and write on the back of the card either a burden they are carrying which they need to share with Jesus or a job that Jesus is asking them to do with his help.

Response Activity: Burdens

Found in Multi-Sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 54.

Also:
Poem and prayer: beyond the breakers.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 43. These are based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity: Kindness

Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 112ff. This is based on the Gospel reading .

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 144ff.